When you run a small business, finding cost-effective solutions for most your needs is a must. You simply do not have the money to throw around like bigger businesses and you need to make sure to find more affordable or even free options for stuff other people pay for. When it comes to promotion and marketing, we live in a golden age of cost-effective alternatives and the only thing you need is a bit of will and effort to pull it off. Here are some of our ideas:
1. Get in touch with local media
Local media is a perfect outlet for your promotion needs because it is local. It reaches people who are your potential customers/clients. The important thing to do here is to be subtle and patient at first. You can offer your advice or expert opinions to the local journalists on subjects that have to do with your line of work. At first, do just that. Offer opinion and advice. Do not try and squeeze our quotes or mentions. Over time, you will become their go-to-person and the exposure will come.
2. Use local artists
If you are looking for promotion tools that involve some sort of artistic input, like for example, writing jingles for your radio commercial, coming up with a logo for the business, or even a mural somewhere in the neighborhood, make sure to use local talent. First of all, you will become involved in the community and you will also most likely be paying less than you would for someone who has already made a name for themselves.
3. Get online and be online
Internet is one of the main reasons a small business can get as much exposure as big ones these days (of course, this is not entirely the case). You can easily find local talent when it comes to web design and you can tap the hitherto untapped artistic wells in your local community. Every block has someone who does web design and who says that the next big name and the next big design do not live few doors down? Let your feelers out and find someone who will know how to get the job done and then put in some extra.
4. Use customized promo materials
The thing with customized promotional products like this is that while you may spend some money, the impression it will leave is that you spent much more. Having products with your brand logo on them can give an impression of a company and a business that is far larger than your actual business and that is something that you want to do at all times.
5. Become an expert
No, we do not mean that you should spend years in a monastery somewhere honing your skills and becoming the Ultimate Expert in your field. Write papers, hold lectures at local events, engage in public discussions and forums, write a book even, or a guide or something like that. You will be surprised how much attention and reputability this can bring to your business and you really spend very little on this.